INDIANAPOLIS — When Felix Rosenqvist first joined the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, he would have been floored to earn a front row starting spot in the Indianapolis 500. He crashed in Turn 2 during practice for his rookie year back in 2019 and qualified 29th (227.297 mph) in the same No. 10 Dallara-Honda that Alex Palou won the pole with on Sunday.
Four years later, Rosenqvist just had a four-lap average of 234.114 mph in his No. 6 Dallara-Chevrolet for Arrow McLaren Racing. That’s nearly seven mph quicker than his rookie year and puts him on the front row for the first time of his five years career thus far.
“It’s mixed feelings right now,” Rosenqvist admitted. “I think overall it’s a very good day for us.”
What makes Rosenqvist bummed is the fact that he was fastest on opening day of Indy 500 Time Trials on Saturday. He was then fastest in the Fast 12 Shootout. The pole was shaping up to be his.
Until it wasn’t.
“I think these two (Alex Palou, Rinus VeeKay) found something in the Fast Six that we didn’t find,” Rosenqvist continued. “We felt like we were kind of on top of it going into it. We were not confident, but we felt like we put the best possible scenario on the car, and big thanks to all the group for Arrow McLaren and Team Chevy, as well. I think the whole team came together for this final run where we threw everything we had at it, and we missed out, and it’s the second time in not so long I’m sitting here and missing pole with I think one or two thousandths. It’s what it is, but overall we have to be proud to have all the cars in the top 12. It’s just been a phenomenal month for us so far.
“But yeah, big congrats to Alex and also to Rinus. That was a hell of a run. We couldn’t match that today.”
Rosenqvist said that he felt pretty much on his warmup lap that it didn’t feel as sporty as it did earlier in the Fast 12.
“Obviously we didn’t change a bunch on the car. We were pretty sure what we put on was the best we’d done all month,” he said. “But man, it’s tight, and if you don’t get it 10 out of 10, there’s going to be two other boys sitting next to you with better lap times.
“I think anyway, it’s just been incredible, and just to have the privilege to drive a car that looks that good and is that fast I think is — yeah, it makes it pretty cool.”
Rosenqvist qualified 14th in both 2020 and again in 2021 before being eighth last year. He finished a career best fourth at Indy a year ago and is hopeful of gaining three more spots on race day.